This year we’ve been a bit more proactive about homeschool geography lessons, and we’ve gone about that in two ways. First, we’ve started back up our country studies, we went back to India for some fun learning, and I’m still waiting to try out one of the meals from the international cookbooks I talked about earlier. Second, we spent some concentrated time memorizing the continents.
We went about memorizing the continents in two different ways.
1. Memorize the Continents game
Not too surprisingly this was my boys’ favorite version. You need an Inflatable Globe (affiliate link, I got mine from the good folks who taught Superman’s Magic Treehouse class when I saw them at Great Homeschool Conventions).
Get everyone standing around in a circle, and have everyone raise their right hand. Whatever continent they are touching with their right thumb when they catch the ball is the one they have to identify.
If they’re not touching any continent with their thumb then identify the closest continent to their thumb.
Play as long as you have time for, and your kids will learn quickly. I promise.
Seriously, my kids asked me to do this game over and over and over again.
2. Memorize the continents by drawing them
I think I saw this idea first over at Homegrown Learners, but I could be wrong. I know I remember doing similar for learning how to draw as a kid, tracing great pictures over and over again.
But, you get a light box, mine is the Martha Stewart Crafts Craft Station (over the top I know, but I got it for Christmas from my Mom a few years ago and it’s been a great help).
Put a blackline map on your light box, I tend to use a printout from WonderMaps since I own that, but you can probably do a search for them online.
Now let your kids trace the map and become familiar with the shapes of the continents. My kids are mad for sharpies, and any project they’re allowed to use sharpies for instantly makes them happier.
Both of these activities are nice and simple, but sometimes simple works the best.
For more geography ideas check out my geography pinterest board, there are over 100 ideas for your general geography studies (yes I have specific ones for state studies and country studies).
Follow Ticia Adventures in Mommydom’s board geography on Pinterest.
As a side note completely unrelated to memorizing the continents, thanks for all the well wishes on my last post. We are now safely home from our trip, and I’m the only one who is still somewhat sick. I’m typing this up from my sick bed because I’m well enough to be bored, but not really well enough to do much else. It kind of stinks. It’s amazing how you can look forward to a trip so much and then also look forward to going back into a routine.
maryanne @ mama smiles says
Great ideas! I have a simplified continents map I need to blog about…
Oh yes that sounds pretty cool.
Natalie PlanetSmartyPants says
The continents game is fun! We did countries that way too!
I thought about narrowing it down to do countries as well, but the continents felt like a good start.
Simple is good. I like the catch game. We love those inflatable globes but we get through them at an alarming rate. Not that any globe would do well being sat on.
I have yet to find one that does.
We are the same as Lucinda – ours burst at an alarming rate too! We own a very good game called Atlas Adventures which is for all ages and is ALL about learning the continents (and in four different languages should the urge take hold). My guys love playing it even when they were really little.
So glad you are all feeling well again and are home safe and sound. Boredom is always a good sign….
I’ll have to look for Atlas Adventures.
Boredom really can be a good sign for getting better, the down side is I have a tendency to then say I’m all better when really I’m not yet. So I limp along half sick for a while.
Marie-Claude Leroux says
If only they taught continents like this in public school! Kids always learn so much better while having fun, and this game sounds just perfect.
I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better – but you know, mending and boredom are the perfect excuse for curling up with a book (tried and true or something new) that’s just for you. Hope you mend completely before pushing yourself too much!
So true. Over the weekend I read two new books I’d had, I both liked and disliked them because I thought it was an enclosed 2 book series, but it was really the start of a new book series, and I’m trying to decide if I want to get the other books now.
These are some good ideas. You are so gold at active learning techniques.
Thanks! It really makes me kids happy when we do something like this. I need to think of something like this for the planets……